Nissan North America

July 31, 2005 12:30 ET

A Far East Quest: Nissan Becomes the First Japanese Automaker to Export U.S.-Built Vehicles to China

LOS ANGELES--(CCNMatthews - Jul 31, 2005) -

Trekking across the Mississippi Delta by rail, the cadre of China-bound Quests roll past the tall magnolias one last time as they head west, before being shipped across the Pacific to a faraway distant land. As they are loaded aboard transport ships, each Quest takes a bit of Mississippi pride on their long journey.

From Canton, Miss., to Canton, China, Nissan North America (NNA) officially began to export U.S. manufactured vehicles to China as part of its NISSAN Value-Up business plan, making Nissan the first Japanese automaker to export U.S.-manufactured vehicles to China.

"When we originally built the Canton facility, we were not only looking at meeting the needs of the U.S. market, but also the global market," said Dan Gaudette, senior vice president, North American Manufacturing and Quality Assurance. "With our Canton and Smyrna plants combined, our capacity allows us to meet the needs for the U.S. as well as other key global markets."

Nissan's global presence is key to its NISSAN Value-Up business plan. The plan commitments include selling 4.2 million units in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, a 24% increase over sales in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005.

"International trade of globally competitive products by world-class companies is key to Mississippi and America's economic future," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. "We are very proud of Nissan and the 6,000 highly skilled Mississippians who make such exciting and innovative vehicles."

Before Quest exports began to China, Nissan has shipped U.S.-built vehicles to:

-- The Middle East - Altima, Armada and Infiniti QX56 (Pathfinder begins in February)

-- Mexico - Altima, Xterra, Maxima, Pathfinder, Quest, Armada and Titan

-- Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico - Altima, Xterra, Maxima, Pathfinder, Quest, Armada, Frontier, Titan and QX56

-- Taiwan - Quest

To ensure customer satisfaction, Nissan has designed each vehicle to meet the specific needs of each market.

"Every market has its unique requirements, and we work closely with Design and Engineering to manufacture vehicles that will be attractive to their targeted customers," said Gaudette. "The Altima bound for the Middle East, for instance, has a revised engine, transmission and a larger cooling system, given the warmer climate of that region."

The Nissan Quest's engine is modified to meet Chinese emission standards, receives a specially tuned suspension to meet rougher terrain, and has standard rear fog lamps.

The Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX56 receive new green tinted glass to meet the Middle Eastern government regulations, and the Armada has a new final drive-ratio for 2WD equipped vehicles due to the different topography.

And the first Quest to arrive in China will have a very special accessory: a special commemorative gift basket consisting of gifts donated by the State of Mississippi and NNA-Canton employees.

"We've recently made automotive history by becoming one of only six automotive companies in the U.S. to sell over one million vehicles within a 12-month period. Now, we're making history again with these exports to China. We're extremely excited at meeting this new challenge," said Jed Connelly, senior vice president, sales and marketing, NNA.

About Nissan North America, Inc.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.nissanusa.com and www.infiniti.com.

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